Mini announces new Cooper Roadster

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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When the Mini brand came back to market for the 2001 model year under BMW ownership, many automotive enthusiasts throughout the nation rejoiced. It's been over 10 years since the diminutive Cooper made its Canadian debut and the Mini range has expanded to include a convertible (Cooper Convertible), a wagon (Clubman), a coupe (Cooper Coupe) and even a crossover sport utility vehicle (Countryman).

Now, Mini has announced a new entry to its growing lineup; the Mini Cooper Roadster. In addition to the Cooper Convertible, the Roadster is the second convertible in the Mini lineup and is true to its namesake with seating for only two occupants. In fact, the Roadster is the first ever two-seat convertible in Mini's storied history.

The new Cooper Roadster features a manually operated soft top designed for easy operation, and the absence of rear seats allows for a luggage capacity of 240 litres. There's also a rear spoiler that automatically deploys when the Roadster reaches 80 km/h.

There are four engines available for the new Roadster although it's not clear if they'll all be offered in Canada. The first is a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder unit available in the base Cooper Roadster, which generates 122 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h with this engine is rated at 9.2 seconds and the top speed is 199 km/h.

Mini's Cooper S Roadster uses a 1.6-litre engine also, but it features TwinPower Turbo technology and generates 184 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. An overboost feature can make 192 pound-feet of torque available for short bursts. The Cooper S Roadster can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7 seconds and will go on to a top speed of 227 km/h.

The top of the line John Cooper Works Roadster also uses the 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine and TwinPower Turbo technology, but it produce 211 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The John Cooper Works Roadster also comes with an overboost feature, which in this case temporarily boosts the torque output to 207 pound-feet. The John Cooper Works Roadster is the fastest of the range, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds and topping out at 237 km/h.

Lastly, there's a Cooper SD Roadster which uses a 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 143 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is completed in 8.1 seconds while the diesel's top speed is rated at 212 km/h.

The engines are coupled to either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or optional 6-speed automatic. To help the Mini Cooper Roadster handle as well as it accelerates, it comes equipped with dynamic stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, cornering brake control, brake assist and hill start assistant.

No official sale date has been announced yet, but the new Mini Cooper Roadster is expected to come to Canada as a 2012 model sometime toward the middle of 2012.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Convertible, Roadster, Mini, 2012, Cooper Roadster,

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